It took just a few seconds to breathe in the Melbourne spring haze rising through the twinkling steel-city views of the Melbourne Rooftop Cinema.
Seven floors up in the open air it felt like a New York summer with a cicada hum of ray-ban hipster cheer, candy striped deck chairs, and a Live in Levi’s® lifestyle topped with cool frothing beer.
Among the vibrant crowd are the rather laidback Melbourne rockers, Kingswood, pushing hair out of their eyes, as they mingle with fans and friends. With the music world at their feet it’s hard to imagine this Melbourne Rock group is rocketing up on such a steep trajectory. Only released a month ago, Kingswood’s debut album Mircoscopic Wars is already kicking serious ass and has been nominated for this year’s ARIA Awards for Best Rock Album.
With beers and wide smiles, lead singer Fergus Linacre and guitarist Alex Laska speak candidly of their success. “It’s amazing that we’ve been nominated for our first album. Being a relatively small independent Australian rock’n’roll band, it’s phenomenal to be recognised against the likes of Justice Crew, and 5 Seconds of Summer,” says Alex.
With the sun slipping lower over the Melbourne skyline, and the Cinema screen brightening in anticipation, Kingswood chat about why we’re all here – for the premier of their short film Micro Wars.
The film is an unusual twist on the music industry’s standard cookie-cutter formula of making a video to fit a single song.
Alex says they have done it in reverse. “We’ve created a film to soundtrack our album – two of our songs play back to back.” This includes the same named newly released single Micro Wars. “It’s a continuation of a concept we stumbled on when we put a short film clip together for an earlier single, Ohio – a Tarantino tribute, epic show-down. We thought it was time to do another!”
Playing the lead ‘Romeo’ role, Fergus says: “It’s all in the spirit of fun. It’s Shakespearean inspired,” he laughs. “We figured out a plot, went to Sydney to film it and brought in Jason Von Drayco of Wonderworld Films to co-direct with Alex. We’d worked with him before on Ohio. He then put together a bunch of really talented, creative people.”
To complement the skills behind the cameras, the Kingswood boys enlisted the help of a star-studded cast – Ian Moss, Freddy Crabs (Sticky Fingers), Sam Margin, Zac Margin, Scott Baldwin and Will Zeglis (The Rubens), Thomas Champion (The Preatures), Jake Stone (Bluejuice), Tkay Maidza and Australian actress Liana Cornell.
“When you’re in Sydney, and need extras, and your only mates there are other bands and musicians, there’s no one else you can call to be in the film!” Fergus jokes.
Alex continues: “We started a trend with a cameo shoot-out at the end of Ohio. We thought we could extend that idea even further. We are friends with a lot of musicians and a lot of bands, so it’s great to show the rock movement at this period in time. It’s now documented that in 2014, these bands existed, they were friends and they were doing great things. It will be fun to look back on it years to come.”
Talking of how the connection with Levi’s and Microscopic Wars came about Alex says: “We thought: ‘Who’s going to make us look cool?’ We don’t want to do it in leather – so we contacted Levi’s!”
Levi’s® responded by supporting the film and providing bespoke tailored jackets specially designed and tailored for the film. These unique jackets were then given away on the night to four lucky fans.
With Levi’s® also sponsoring of the Rooftop Cinema for the Summer Series starting next month, the venue for the launch was a natural fit.
Proud to be a part of this rock movement, Nicky Rowsell – Levi’s® Marketing Manager says: “We enjoy working with talented, nice people. When we meet a band like Kingswood that works really hard and deserves success we want to help them. We had them play at our showcase at BIGSOUND in Brisbane. We have also been involved in booking them for the ABL. They will be playing at the ALL STARS game in December which will be televised throughout Asia on ESPN and to half of the US – it will give them great exposure to the American Market.”
Alex says: “Levi’s has not only been essential to the style and costuming in our video clip but to our development and growth.” Sun down, the black rolls in, screen lights up, cicada hipster hum quietens, the crowd bobs down, the deck chairs ease and the opening credits roll…
Move over Shakespeare, you know nothing about love or facial hair, step to the side Baz Luhrmann; unplug your sewing machine Catherine Martin denim is King; Spinal Tap go Smell the Glove; Walt Disney your Bambi looks like a comedy; Tarantino your Reservoir Dogs are Chihuahuas; and pull over Easy Rider, you know nothing about bikes…Kingswood is armed and they are driving into town. They will fight to the death until no man is standing (or not).
There is nothing small at all about Microscopic Wars.